With health and safety in the forefront of everybody’s minds, more and more companies are looking for alternative ways to excavate which don’t involve putting their workers at risk.
Vacuum excavation has become the preferred method for digging in areas where there is a high concentration of utilities or where access is poor. The use of air and/or water to excavate eradicates the need for using heavy or sharp instruments in the ground, thus eliminating the dangers faced when digging manually. Vacuum excavation is an entirely safe process and is often twice as fast as traditional hand digging.
Vacuum excavators come in many shapes and sizes to cater for each user’s needs. The Air-Vac from Air-Spade is powered using a compressor and can be used simultaneously alongside an Air-Spade. This can provide an ideal solution for landscapers and arborists, or any smaller scale projects.
The use of air is preferable if the operator wants to reuse the soil for back fill, but this system can be less effective for digging around clay.
The use of water is good for reducing flying debris but may render the soil useless for backfill and it would require somewhere for disposal.
Bigger machines such as the XX-Cavator from Vac-Con can provide up to 7000cfm and 4000psi. These machines are perfect if you have a lot of earth to move in a short period of time or are looking to excavate from a long distance away.
For safety and for speed, vacuum excavation has stolen a march on traditional methods and it is easy to see why industry leading companies such as ABB and Balfour Beatty favour this technique.